Wellstar Health System honored the life, legacy, and many contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a tribute and virtual ceremony on Jan. 13. The event included team members, faith leaders, and powerful voices from the diversity, equity, and inclusion community with uplifting and moving blessings, song, dance, images and messages.
Allyship, connectedness, and advocacy emphasized as tools to combat injustice
Wellstar physicians, caregivers, and team members are connected by the desire and commitment to serve with compassion, pursue excellence and honor every voice as the system strives to meet the vital needs of patients and communities.
During the virtual event, Wellstar president and CEO Candice L. Saunders reflected on the organization’s deep commitment to caring for people and Dr. King’s view of the world that all life is interrelated.
The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole, chair and seventh president of the National Council of Negro Women and former president of Spelman College, an historically black college, emphasized the theme of the event from Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” wherein he stated: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” She talked about the importance of being an ally and advocate for any struggles against injustice, and encouraged all to build a better world where we can stand together. Dr. Cole was introduced by Le Joyce Naylor, Wellstar’s senior vice president and chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer.
In addition to inspiring messages from Dr. Cole and Saunders, the event included prayers and blessings from David A. Spencer Jr., manager of Wellstar Spiritual Health; Cavit Agu, chaplain for Wellstar Health System; Rabbi Judith Beiner of Jewish Family and Career Services of Atlanta; and Patricia Symonette, director of Wellstar Spiritual Health, who sang “Show Me How to Love,” by Babbie Mason. The Fellowship Bible Baptist Church Worship and Arts Ministry sang and danced to “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson. Dr. Scott Swayze, chair of the Wellstar Board of Trustees, closed the event with a message about Wellstar’s commitment to compassion, excellence, and inclusion.
Wellstar is honored to celebrate the life and legacy of American Civil Rights Movement leader and activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and acknowledge this important federal holiday and National Day of Service in recognition of his enduring impact and example. Wellstar has added Martin Luther King Jr. Day to the paid holiday calendar starting Jan. 17, 2022.